Animal Rights Group Disrupts Muslim Eid al-Adha Ceremony In Poland

WARSAW, Poland — WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Animal rights activists in Poland have disturbed the start of an Islamic holiday which involves the recently banned slaughter of conscious animals.

A group of angry animal rights activists on Tuesday tried to prevent Muslim community in Bohoniki, in eastern Poland, from proceeding with the Eid al-Adha holiday, or Feast of Sacrifice, that includes cutting the throats of conscious animals. Poland’s top Muslim leader, Mufti Tomasz Miskiewicz, said the ceremony would proceed according to tradition.

Effective this year, Polish law requires all animals to be stunned before they are culled and the procedure is performed at a slaughter house. The law has hit the religious practices of Poland’s Jewish and Muslim minorities, though their rights are guaranteed by the constitution.

Read the original article at Religion News on The Huffington Post  2013-10-16 »

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‘Sleepy Hollow’ Trailer: John Noble Is Here! (VIDEO)

Save some Halloween candy to munch on because “Sleepy Hollow” isn’t returning with another new episode until November 4.

Following another bonkers episode last night (Lost Colony of Roanoke? A deadly plague outbreak and an appearance by another Horseman of the Apocalypse?) fans were treated to a sad surprise during the trailer for the next episode when it was announced the next new installment of the sleeper hit wouldn’t air for another three weeks.

The wait will be well worth it though as the trailer revealed John Noble from “Fringe” has finally made it to “Sleepy Hollow,” as previously announced last month.

Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman were executive producers on “Fringe” and are currently serving the same roles on “Sleepy Hollow,” so it would make sense that Noble, who played fan favorite Walter Bishop on the Fox sci-fi series would eventually make his way to Ichabod Crane’s hometown.

As The Huffington Post reported in September: “Noble will play Henry Parrish, a kind and reclusive man who possesses supernatural powers that have the potential to help the series’ protagonist, Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison).” The role will be a recurring one for Noble, who will play a larger role in the impending apocalypse threatening the small New York town.

“Sleepy Hollow” was a ratings hit out of the gate, and now with numbers remaining strong in the following weeks (including a 71% ratings jump when factoring in DVR viewing) it is becoming clear why Fox handed out an early second season renewal to the freshman series.

Look for Noble’s first appearance on the next new episode airing November 4.

“Sleepy Hollow” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.

Read the original article at Religion News on The Huffington Post  2013-10-16 »

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Devout Jewish And Muslim Fashionistas Share Remarkably Similar Taste

Orthodox Jews call it a bubu. Religious Muslims call it a puff. Both are based on the same idea: stuffing something other than a woman’s real hair under her headscarf to create the illusion of long flowing tresses beneath.

Read the original article at Religion News on The Huffington Post  2013-10-16 »

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Mindfulness-based stress reduction helps lower blood pressure, study finds

Blood pressure is effectively lowered by mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) for patients with borderline high blood pressure or “prehypertension,” according to new research.

Read the original article at ScienceDaily: Spirituality News  2013-10-16 »

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Malaysian court says Christian paper can’t use ‘Allah’

(CNN) – A Malaysian court ruled Monday that a Christian newspaper could not use “Allah” to refer to God. Ram Ramgopal reports MORE ON CNN: Do Christians, Muslims and Jews worship the same God?

Read the original article at CNN Belief Blog  2013-10-16 »

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Egypt’s Security Forces On Edge As Muslims Mark Eid Al-Adha

Muslims across Egypt offered prayers at local mosques early Tuesday to mark Eid al-Adha, as security forces shut down key public squares that have seen mass protests, including Cairo’s Tahrir Square.In the east of the capital, interim president Adly Ma…

Read the original article at Religion News on The Huffington Post  2013-10-16 »

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Capturing A Stunning Church From Entrance To Altar In One Image

By David Rosenberg

Making photographs can be a religious experience.

For photographer Richard Silver, his epiphany occurred during a visit to a church in New York last year that got him thinking about how to document the interior from the altar to the entrance—in one shot.


But Silver’s own body proved to be the biggest hindrance, refusing to budge in his attempt at capturing the perfect shot. “The first time I did it, I almost hurt my neck by trying to shoot the ceiling without physically turning around,” he wrote via email. Because he isn’t a contortionist, Silver decided to blend a series of images in Photoshop to create the panoramas for “Vertical Churches.”

To capture the interiors, Silver shoots in the church’s center aisle, taking between six and 10 vertical images. He then puts together the images using Lightroom and Photoshop. He was pleasantly surprised with his initial results and started running around New York looking for more churches to photograph.

Getting the shots hasn’t been easy. Often churches are closed, and many don’t allow Silver to use a tripod. He often shoots with wide-angle lenses, typically a 24-70 mm lens, though if a church is really wide, he’ll bring a 14-24 mm lens. Depending on the light inside the church, Silver works to bring out details such as stained glass windows during the post-production process.

Silver’s images aren’t limited to New York. He constantly travels, looking for new churches to photograph around the world. “I feel compelled to photograph the world in a unique way, to try to open up the way people see the common sites we have all seen,” he said.
That vision isn’t only about his panoramic imagery. Silver also has a passion for tilt-shift photography, and he cites Olivo Barbieri as one of his tilt-shift photography idols.

Although he has visited hundreds of churches around the world, Silver continues to be awed by what he captures. “I am fascinated how the results are very similar to each other, sort of like the inside of a turtle shell,” he said. “With my vertical church shots, I capture much more detail that is lost even when you are there in person. To add the whole photo together and see it in that manner, it still blows me away today.”

See the original post on Slate.

Read the original article at Religion News on The Huffington Post  2013-10-16 »

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Pietro Parolin, Vatican’s New No. 2 Misses Ceremony Replacing Tarcisio Bertone Who Leaves Marred Legacy

VATICAN CITY — VATICAN CITY (AP) — The new Vatican No. 2 was a no-show at the ceremony to take over the reins of the Vatican administration, after being hospitalized for urgent surgery.

Pope Francis told the assembled guests at Tuesday’s handover ceremony that Archbishop Pietro Parolin had had to undergo minor but urgent surgery while he was visiting his family in Italy’s Veneto region. The Vatican says it would be several weeks before he actually starts working. Parolin missed out on the ceremonial changing of the guard from the retiring Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who was blamed for many of the gaffes and problems of the papacy of Benedict XVI.

Francis nevertheless welcomed Parolin “in absentia” as he thanked Bertone for his service.


The changing of the guard is underway at the Vatican.

Pope Francis bid farewell Tuesday to the Vatican’s No. 2, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who was blamed for many of the gaffes and problems of the papacy of Benedict XVI. And at a ceremony inside the Apostolic Palace, Francis welcomed his new chief collaborator, Archbishop Pietro Parolin, a career diplomat who was sent from the Holy See to Venezuela during Bertone’s tenure.

The handover represented a tangible sign of change for the Vatican following Bertone’s scandal-marred term, which climaxed with the 2012 theft of Benedict’s papers by his butler. But many other problems of Benedict’s reign — from his rehabilitation of a Holocaust-denying bishop to the Vatican’s response to the 2010 sex abuse scandal — have been pinned on Bertone.

Read the original article at Religion News on The Huffington Post  2013-10-16 »

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Syria Fighting Rages During Eid Al-Adha

BEIRUT — BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian warplanes bombed several rebel-held areas Tuesday and opposition fighters fired mortar rounds and homemade rockets at Damascus on the first day of a major Muslim holiday, activists said.

The fighting during Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice, showed how entrenched both sides have become in Syria’s civil war, now in its third year. Previously, combatants occasionally attempted to observe holiday cease-fires. The Syrian conflict, which began as a largely peaceful uprising against President Bashar Assad in March 2011, has claimed more than 100,000 lives and displaced millions of Syrians. The land is now a patchwork of rebel- and regime-controlled areas, with front-lines crisscrossing the country.

On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the Syrian regime and the exile-based political opposition must try to meet a mid-November target date for launching talks on a political transition.

However, there is no clear path toward such negotiations, and the main Western-backed opposition group hasn’t decided whether to attend.

In Tuesday’s fighting, rebels fired mortar rounds and homemade rockets at three Damascus neighborhoods, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which gathers information from activists.

An amateur video distributed by the group shows three rockets being fired, trailed by smoke.

Syria’s state news agency SANA said a mortar shell smashed into a house in the city’s al-Qanawat neighborhood, igniting a fire and wounding four people.

Rebels routinely fire mortar shells at government-held areas of the Syrian capital.

In the village of Yabroud, several dozen miles north of the capital, assailants detonated explosives on the roofs of Our Lady’s Church and the Church of Helena and Constantine, SANA reported.

The explosions damaged the crosses, SANA said. It said attempts to detonate more bombs outside the two churches were foiled.

The Observatory confirmed that several explosions went off, damaging the churches.

There was no claim of responsibility, though SANA blamed “terrorists,” the regime’s term for rebels. Assad has drawn support from Syria’s ethnic and religious minorities, including Christians. Many rebels are Sunni Muslims, a majority in Syria.

In regime attacks, warplanes bombed targets in the village of Latamneh in the northern Hama province, the Observatory said. Three children were killed and several people were wounded, the group said.

The regime also bombed areas of the Eastern Ghouta district, near Damascus, and the southern city of Daraa, the Observatory said.

As the fighting continued, Assad attended holiday prayers in a Damascus mosque. Syrian state TV showed him sitting cross-legged on the floor, in the front row of worshippers.

Assad continues to appear in public, apparently to send a message of “business as usual” even as large parts of Syria lie in ruins.

Kerry reiterated Monday that Assad “has lost the legitimacy to be able to be a cohesive force that could bring people together.” However, the Syrian leader, with strong backing from Russia, has rejected repeated calls to step aside.

Meanwhile, Syrian refugees marked a subdued holiday in the Zaatari tent camp in Jordan. The camp is home to more than 120,000 refugees and has turned into Jordan’s fifth-largest city.

A few children bought toys from shops in the camp, as is customary during the holiday, and men attended special Eid prayers, though the refugees said there’s no joy in the holiday.

“We feel bad, we feel bad because everyone here has lost his home and family members and his money,” said Ibrahim Oweis, a refugee from Damascus.

Osama al-Madi, a refugee from the southern city of Daraa, said he opposes transition talks with the regime, as proposed by the U.S.

“In each tent here, you will find people who have lost a martyr or have people in prisons, we have missing people in Assad’s prisons,” he said. “How can we negotiate with a killer regime?”


Associated Press writers Maamoun Yousef in Cairo and Jamal Halaby in Amman, Jordan, contributed to this report.

Read the original article at Religion News on The Huffington Post  2013-10-16 »

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Catholic priest sues for access military base during shutdown

(CNN) – A Catholic priest has gone to court, saying the partial government shutdown is preventing him from providing religious services– even voluntarily– on a U.S. military base. Father Ray Leonard filed a lawsuit Monday in federal district court in Washington, saying he “wishes to continue practicing his faith and ministering to his faith community […]

Read the original article at CNN Belief Blog  2013-10-16 »

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Syria’s President Bashar Assad Prays At Damascus Mosque For Eid Al-Adha

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad prayed at a Damascus mosque early on Tuesday morning as Muslims marked the Eid al-Adha holiday, state media said.State television broadcast images of the president entering the Hassiba mosque and waving to supporters be…

Read the original article at Religion News on The Huffington Post  2013-10-16 »

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Iraq Mosque Bombing Rips Through Crowd Of Sunni Worshippers, Killing 12 (VIDEO)

BAGHDAD — BAGHDAD (AP) — A bomb ripped through a crowd of Sunni worshippers coming out of a mosque in northern Iraq after prayers at the start of a major Muslim holiday on Tuesday, killing 12 people and wounding 24, Iraqi officials said.

The attack took place in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, 290 kilometers (180 miles) north of Baghdad, said Police Col. Taha Salaheddin. The bomb went off as worshippers were leaving the al-Qodus mosque after morning prayers for the beginning of the Eid al-Adha holiday, Salaheddin said.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack and police sealed off the area around the mosque. Medics in the Kirkuk General Hospital confirmed the casualty figures, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

Kirkuk provincial police chief, Brig. Gen. Jamal Tahir Bakir said that security measures had been stepped up, especially on the entrances to the city.

“Our security forces have taken all the necessary measures within our capabilities to protect the people during Eid, but unfortunately, terrorists were able to penetrate the city and strike innocent people once again,” he said.

Kirkuk, a frequent flashpoint for violence, is home to an ethnic mix of Arabs, Kurds and Turkomen who all have competing claims to the oil-rich city.

More than 5,000 people have been killed in Iraq since al-Qaida and other militants stepped up attacks following a deadly security crackdown against a Sunni protest camp in April.

The surge has sparked fears that the country could see a new round of widespread sectarian bloodshed similar to that which brought the country to the edge of civil war in 2006 and 2007.

Much of the violence tearing through Iraq is the work of the local al-Qaida branch, a Sunni extremist group, which frequently carries out attacks against Shiites and those seen as linked to the Shiite-led government.

But several Sunni mosques have also been targeted in recent months and while it is possible that Sunni insurgents could be behind attacks on Sunni mosques in hopes of stoking sectarian hatred, Shiite militias that have begun remobilizing across Iraq may also be behind such assaults.

Tuesday’s attack came despite tight security measures imposed by security forces ahead of the four-day Eid al-Adha celebrations. Authorities announced that the number of security checkpoints would be increased around Iraqi cities and especially near amusement parks and mosques, which traditionally expect crowds during the holiday.

The Eid al-Adha holiday commemorates the readiness of the Prophet Ibrahim, known to Christians and Jews as Abraham, to sacrifice his son, Ismail, on God’s command.

Read the original article at Religion News on The Huffington Post  2013-10-15 »

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Rights Groups, Congress Press Justice Department On 1985 Office Bombing

WASHINGTON — WASHINGTON (AP) — Civil rights groups and members of Congress are pressing the Justice Department to renew its investigation of a 1985 office bombing that killed Palestinian-American civil rights leader Alex Odeh and injured seven people.

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Jewish Voice for Peace and others have launched a petition campaign asking Justice to further investigate the explosion, which demolished the committee’s office in Santa Ana, Calif. The online petition has about 10,000 signatures. California Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez sent a letter to the department in June and is seeking other lawmakers to sign a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder. The FBI identified suspects after the attack, but none were ever named or indicted.

“Whenever a leader for a civil rights organization is killed, it is the responsibility of our country as a whole— and a civil rights community as a whole— to stand up and demand that their killers be brought to justice and to insure that the U.S. Department of Justice does everything in its power to close the case,” NAACP President Ben Jealous told reporters in a conference call Monday.

The DOJ, which has furloughed workers due to the government shutdown, did not respond immediately to a request for comment on Monday, which also was the federal Columbus Day holiday. In 2010, the FBI described Odeh’s killing in an agency news blog as “an active, ongoing priority investigation” and noted a $1 million reward.

Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., said Monday that he wants the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations to convene a hearing on the bombing.

“We’re going to pursue it vigorously and we’re not going to let any more time lapse,” Conyers said. “We’re going to continue to help all of the organizations that are involved build up more and more support for us getting to where we ought to be in terms of a horrific, violent crime that has, I think, been put on the back burner for far too long.”

At the time of the attack, the FBI said they believed the bombing was the responsibility of the militant Jewish Defense League. An attorney for the group denied the allegations and asked for a retraction from the agency. The FBI also linked Odeh’s killing to two other acts of domestic terrorism in Brentwood, N.Y. and Paterson, N.J. that same year.

Odeh, the West Coast regional director for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, was killed as he opened the door to his office on Oct. 11, 1985. The bombing occurred the morning after Odeh said on a Los Angeles television news broadcast that Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yassir Arafat was a “man of peace” because of his role in securing the release of passengers from the hijacked Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro in Egypt.

Odeh, who came to the U.S. from Palestine, was described by both Jews and Arabs as a nonviolent man who advocated compromise. According to the American-Arab committee, Odeh immigrated to the United States in 1972 and became a U.S. citizen in 1977. He was a poet and lecturer.

The Justice Department had no immediate comment.

Read the original article at Religion News on The Huffington Post  2013-10-15 »

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Muslim pilgrims prepare for Eid al-Adha feast

Throngs of Muslim pilgrims converged Monday on Muzdalifah to prepare for Eid al-Adha feast after a day of prayer on Mount Arafat for an end to disputes and bloodshed.The faithful will spend the night in Muzdalifah to collect stones…

Read the original article at - Religion and Beliefs  2013-10-15 »

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Navratri 2013 Photos: Durga Puja: Worshipping The Divine Mother

Navratri is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Ashwin. Navaratri in 2013 started on Saturday, the 5th of October and continued for 9 days until Sunday, the 13th of October.

Navratri is the Hindu festival of nine nights dedicated to the glorific…

Read the original article at Religion News on The Huffington Post  2013-10-15 »

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